Archive for February, 2011

Colombia 2011, pics

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Plush, San Felix launch.

Plush, San Felix launch.

More Colombia pics 2011

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Colombia tour 2011.

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Up above San Felix

Up above San Felix

San Felix, Medellin

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

We started out at 9:30 on our way to Matasanos but about 15 minutes into the drive i saw two things that quickly changed my mind about flying there for today. One was that cloudbase was very low and two was that i saw more wind then we had seen the other two days that we flew there.

We turned around and headed up to San Felix where conditions looked better and once we arrived we decided to give our driver Mateo his first day of ground handeling lessons while we waited for things to heat up. He did very well and showed great ability and certainly he will be flying on his own soon. He did several forward launch runs and several reverse launch pull-ups but since we were ion the launch we had to be careful so he did’nt actually go flying off a 3,500 ft site.

Finally we decided it was time for us to fly as Mateo was tired and his arms torn up. As we got ready a local pilto had made a few flights and top landed and so i figured it was good enough, it was shaded but he did’nt have trouble getting high enought to top land and so i hucked and Don was right behind me and we headed for the house thermal and there we scratched our way down the face of the ridge not finding much or any lift at all and finally we were on the last lower spine and in need of a thermal.

Don was able to find some broken lift and was climbing slowly and so i joined him about 200 ft higher but it was not well formed and slowly Don sank down lower but not before three tandem gliders sank thru his altitude and landed in front of him which showed me things were not good, but i was able to watch the tandem gliders and use some burbles they hit to maintain altitude while they sank out. i struggled for about an hour down there before things got better, i flew back and forth searning for lift and following the birds but i could never got anything that would climb more then 1,000 ft and twice i decided i had enough and was going to land when i would hit a burble that would take me back up 600 to 1,000 ft but no more then i would loose it all and be back down wihtin a few hundred ft of landing but it was trashy down low and i did’nt realluy want to land in the l.z. whihc is perched on a hill.

Finally i saw some sun to the north of me over town and i decided to head that way aas i saw a hawk in some lift and sure enough that was the best thermal of the previous hour and i climbed 1,000 ft before i got trashed good and then hit big sink i was heading to land again when i noticed some flags to my N.W. that were showing tailwind down the hill and i figured there had to be a convergence ove the city and that was why it was trashy and i headed back over town and got more lift this time a bit higher and then i took a long glide to some more sun on the hill side back toward launch but again i found nothing there good enought o turn in and i was back donw again but there was starting to be more sun and i saw a small gaggle of birds turning over this spine with some rock mine pits and there i finally found some 400 fpm lift and that got me back to launch height, it was trashy but i was just happy to get out of that hole.

I glided back toward launch and hit big sink so i turned back out front and went for some more birds climbing up and there i hit some more 400 fpm and then i had enough to drift back over the house thermal spine where the full sunshine had enought ime to cook a good thermal and i was finally able to glide back and topland.  nothing like a 1.5 hr struggle below launch to make you feel satisfied.

About 10 local pilots all came to congradulte me, they were all amazed that i was able to get back up from that low after so long of time. I took about a 20 minute break for a snack and water then i rented some tandem gear and took Mateo up for a 30 minute tandem ride where we had the easiest time thermalling out and i was able to let him fly the glider most of the flight after, he picked it up quick with the weight shift and outside brake adjustments. then we came down for a nice top landing, he was stoked to say the least.

More soon,

David.